I know – it’s been quiet on the musical front for me lately, but I have a slew of gigs coming up. My next performance will be at Washington Heights’ Word Up Community Bookstore on Thursday, May 3rd. What’s even cooler is that I won’t just be performing on that Thursday, but for the next 8 Thursdays after that. In other words, my first MUSICAL RESIDENCY!!!
What’s even cool than that is that I’ll be livestreaming these gigs, and filming the pilot for a new TV Show!! Lots of things cooking over here!
Book cover design by CDS, from Word Up Bookstore’s “Voices: Our Young People Speak” program
I didn’t go to South by Southwest this year, but I did attend Couch by Couchwest, the virtual music conference “where the only hipster is you”. As today is St. Patrick’s Day, I chose to do an a capella cover of “St. Patrick’s Day” by John Mayer. The song has nothing to do with being Irish or green beer, but I like it just the same.
From the Couch by Couchwest blog:
CXCW is the slackers alternative to SXSW. During the week of March 11-18, 2012 musicians from around the world submit videos recorded on a couch, porch, bathroom…anywhere but the stage…for our enjoyment from the comfort of our living rooms. We hope to bring together as many people as possible who are stuck home while all their friends are stuck in the crowds of Austin, TX. So crack open a beer, crank up the volume, and enjoy the couch!
Today we have a guest blog post from Andrew Hand, one of the smartest and sweetest musicians I know. His musical journey led him to NYC where we met, and now he’s enjoying life in Bozeman, Montana, teaching guitar lessons, and following the beat of his own drummer. Enjoy!
Teaching guitar lessons on the other side of the US…Indeed I wouldn’t believe it. See, I was living in New York City and trying to make connections there and get my music spread to a larger audience. I didn’t have any plans to leave the Big Apple, but life had some other things in store.
Let me just say that I’m where I am because I made choices, it’s not like life happened to me, I was creating a scenario of events that led me to make other choices…and so here I am in Montana…Long way from NYC.
I think the important point, and the reason that I’m writing this, is to share with my fellow musicians, and perhaps all readers; that there are always more opportunities around us than we recognize.
About six months after landing here in Bozeman, I started thinking that I should see about connecting to the music scene here and perhaps try to teach some of what I’d learned about music, songwriting, recording and such. After a few months of trying a few things, I started teaching guitar at the local music store. The first lesson I gave felt so good.
I’ve been teaching guitar for about four months now and have really enjoyed every student I’ve had. They have all been different and each has had their unique pace and style of learning, which has made me adapt some of my teaching and past notions about what people needed to learn first about guitar and music.
The reason I tell this brief tale is to share my realization that I am learning more from teaching than I am from when I’d just make teaching videos for my guitar teaching website. Seeing how people actually process this information in person has been enlightening. For some the eyes glaze over when we enter music theory land, and for others, an ah-ha moment happens.
I think the takeaway for me is that although I might be doing something other than 100% focussing on my music, I am able to keep involved with music and actually feel less burdened and stressed out about all I have to do to get myself out there. When a student wants to learn “Ring of Fire” or “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift, it gives me a reason to go and really look at these songs and see what’s making them tick.
Since beginning to teach (and for some time before) I’ve been working on a guitar teaching DVD. Because of my student interaction and getting to test things out, I find the product is becoming better and giving me new ideas. I thought I was done with it last week, but on reflecting, I felt that I had put too much information in and not enough ‘practical’ teaching. So I’m re-shooting the whole thing, and so far it’s getting better and better. Yet another bonus!
For me, what I’ve gotten done since starting to teach, was cover “All Apologies” by Nirvana, do cover video lessons for “Come Together” by the Beatles, and “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. I’ve created chord charts/scale charts, PDF’s, set up websites and even performed with my students in our recital. It was fun to sing with these kids…
I have been trying to find an answer for the last year, and have met lots of internal resistance, stress, and a whole host of up and down swings. I’m not one to look at things as obstacles. I haven’t found an answer, other than what I feel to be right. And that is to continue going with the flow and trying to contribute value to others and pass on whatever I can. It’s the same approach that’s guided me in my songwriting and personal/business connections.
There are opportunities, so many in fact, that I have to try and best choose those to pursue, while still reminding myself that music is a part of my purpose here.
My hope is that this little posting has met those who needed to see it and been of service. My thought to you would be this: Listen to the little voice that nudges at you, saying ‘hey, maybe you should try this.’…and then do it. Especially if it’s something that you tell yourself you don’t want to do the next minute.
I’d love to hear from you, so please reach out and drop me a line.
My Very Best Wishes to You,
About Andrew Hand:
Andrew is a songwriter, guitarist, and singer with a passion for teaching and helping others to discover and bring out their musical voice. Having started his musical journey at 24, with absolutely no previous training or experience in music, Andrew has gone on to write, produce, and record some 300 songs, and continues to make music that speaks to the human condition and the things we face in life. More of Andrew’s music can be checked out on his personal site AndrewHand.com
This Wednesday morning, Feb 23rd at 11:30am EST, I’m being interviewed on the School of Music Industry Podcast. I’ll be sharing tips from the new book, The Musician’s Guide to Facebook and Twitter, and talking about musicians as solo entrepreneurs.
LaToya “ElectrKPrincess” Jackson
About The School of Music Industry:
Electronic Dance Music songwriter, LaToya “ElectrKPrincess” Jackson, gives an inside look at what it takes to really make it in the music industry with the “School of the Music Industry” revolution through digital media and technology.
The School of the Music Industry is an innovative concept that gives aspiring musicians an inside look on what it really takes to make it in the music industry. Get tips from artists, producers, songwriters and industry executives on the ins and outs of the industry. They all stop by the School of the Music Industry to share their stories, struggles and give insight on making it!
Tune in to the live stream of the show at:
Wow! Can’t believe it’s here! The first printing of The Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter: Your Complete Guide to Getting Liked, Followed and Heard by me and Ariel Hyatt is here! It’s really here!
Our first batch of printed books has arrived, and we’re getting it out to the early adopter musicians who bought the first available copies our book at TAXI Road Rally last November.
We’re keeping our eyes peeled for Facebook’s updates, and we’ll revise as needed. The book will soon be available for online purchase, as well as at lectures that Ariel and I will be giving, and we’re so excited!!!
Don’t you love the clean slate feeling of a New Year??
After spending relaxed holidays with my family in Atlanta, I’m fired up with new vim and vigor. To keep that feeling going, I’m psyched to share a New Year’s blog post from Ariel Hyatt, music publicist extraordinaire, and co-author of our upcoming book: The Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter: Your Complete Guide to Being Liked, Followed, and Heard
You’ll be hearing lots more about our new book in the next couple of months, but Ariel’s article should tide you over!
7 Things I Hope For The New Music Industry In 2011
by Ariel Hyatt
The Cliff Notes’ Version:
1. More Support For Each Other
2. More Artists Making a Living
3. More Rocking the Social Media Strategies
4. More Consistency
5. More Fan Funding
6. More Young Entrepreneurs
7. More Reality Checks
Ariel’s blog post is much longer, and includes tips on achieving the above, but you gotta read it! 7 Things I Hope For The New Music Industry In 2011
At this very moment, I’m taking a quick break from editing my new book with Ariel Hyatt. Yeah, I know…I hadn’t mentioned it before now, but it kind of sprang up kinda suddenly 😉 We both had so much material on Facebook, Twitter and other social media how-to’s that we decided to launch a new book (more details forthcoming)!
Ariel and I will be attending TAXI Road Rally, an annual music business conference which takes place in Los Angeles, CA Nov 4-7th. Amidst the three exciting days of music workshops, Ariel will be speaking, and I’ll be mentoring on behalf of Ariel Publicity. We’ll be doing video interviews with musicians and other important people. And we’ll have our new book with us!
For the record, I haven’t been to LA in over 15 years (since I moved to NYC), and I am very excited about being there, and seeing friends.
But in the meantime, it’s back to work for me!
PS – Ariel and I will be hosting a tweet up on Sunday, Nov 7th. Leave a comment below if you want to RSVP, and I’ll follow up with you via your email address. Hope I get to see you!
TA-DAA!!! Thanks to all of you who voted and helped me choose, I’m happy to unveil my new Rock Star Life Lessons logo! This logo was designed by Adi Ramdhan, a talented graphic designer from Indonesia, who submitted original designs to my logo contest at 99Designs.com. The logo contest attracted 177 entries, and it wasn’t easy to choose (which is why I needed your help).
Over the next few months, this blog will become less about me, and more about YOU, the indie musician. The podcast will soon be launched, as well as a few new books and courses. I’ll be moving more of my personal stories to another blog (Yes, another blog! ;-)) to have more of a separation of church and state, so I can refocus on my music activities. After all of my internet marketing lessons and experiences, I’m whittling everything down to two blogs and newsletters. This will enable me to organize my music and music marketing activities into a better experience for you.
I want to do another CD, but I feel like I have to get my online house in order first. But now that the new logos are ready, and my new indie musician list is building quickly, I know that I’ll soon be done with this particular overhaul, and return to making and performing music the way I want.
Thanks so much for your support for the past few months. I couldn’t have done this without you.
I also have to give a shout out of thanks to Chris Wright, my sound editing whiz for the upcoming RSLL podcasts, as well as marketing interns Courtney Bernat and Andres Moreira. I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot (and should not) do it all myself, and I’m grateful for their help, dedication and hard work.
I also have to give a special shout out to Jeffrey Paul Bobrick, my ace, for honest feedback, and hooking me up with those interns. Geno Talerico gets love for all the support and hugs he gives unconditionally. Much gratitude goes to my spiritual mastermind partners CharLena Pearson-Fulcher and Shelia Hutson who have lovingly held my vision, and helped pray it into reality.
Last, but not least, Ariel Hyatt gets Super Kudos for being an awesome role model, peer mentor, client, friend, and all-round cool person.
I’d also like to thank the Academy… sorry, getting carried away there! Seriously, there is no such thing as a self-made success, and I am grateful for everyone who helped me get this far. THANK YOU!!!
Let me know how you like the new logo, and which music marketing topics you’re interested in. I’m ready for you!!!
I’ve been working on a new music marketing course, and I need your help.
In order to find solutions to your burning questions, I’ve created a survey at:
Rock Star Life Lessons Survey
Do you want to know how to:
* Sell more music?
* Market your music on Facebook and other social media sites?
* Build your fanbase?
Please visit Rock Star Life Lessons Survey and let me know. It’s only 10 mostly-multiple answer questions, so I promise that it will be quick and painless.
Thanks so much for your time!
Last week I attended New York City’s New Music Seminar, and even wrote a little wrap-up article about it. I called it The New Music Seminar Meets David and Goliath.
The ever-resourceful Greg Rollett has posted it as a guest blog on his Gen-Y Rockstars Blog, and I’m totally excited!
Click to read The New Music Seminar Meets David and Goliath.